[ubuntu-uk] Vodafone Topup and Go Mobile Broadband dongle on Ubuntu 8.10

Rob Beard rob at esdelle.co.uk
Sat Feb 28 19:03:36 GMT 2009


Hi folks,

I wasn't sure if anyone had posted before about using the Vodafone USB 
3G modem on Ubuntu 8.10 but I thought I'd post my findings.

I picked one up today from the local Vodafone store.  The one I got was 
the £39 USB pen drive size dongle.  It came pre-loaded with 1GB 
allowance (worth £15) and it also has a built in MicroSD reader (I think 
it's a Huawei K3565 USB modem).  Another plus point for me is the fact 
that the data allowance doesn't expire and as I'm not expecting to use 
it that much it means my allowance will go a bit further.

Anyway it was picked up in Ubuntu (although it didn't say it was 
detected, possibly because I'd used an E220 before).  I went through the 
network manager to specity that it was a Vodafone pre-pay modem and that 
was all the configuration that it needed.

I did find that if I selected the Vodafone connection from network 
manager it would try and connect and then disconnect.  However clicking 
on it again it would pop up asking for a password.  Doing a bit of 
searching on Vodafone's forums it appears that you need to enter web as 
the password.  Anyway after entering the password I was connected 
straight away (albeit at GPRS speeds because of my patchy reception).

I've yet to try any other providers SIMs on the modem.  My dad has a 
Three modem on contract which I tried before so when I see him I'm going 
to try his SIM to see if that works too.  I'm also considering picking 
up a T-Mobile SIM too if I can get a Three SIM working (I wasn't sure if 
these modems were locked into their specific provider like mobile phones 
are).

So I'd say if you're looking for a cheap modem then you can't go wrong 
with one of these assuming you can get coverage.  GPRS is pretty slow 
(okay for e-mail but not much else by the looks of things) but I've got 
higher hopes for the 3G part (I'm not expecting the quoted 7.2 Meg but 
I'd be happy if I can get maybe 300Kbit/sec out of it so I can browse 
the web and run remote control software.

 From what I gather too it's one of the cheapest modems out there when 
you consider it has £15 of credit included (so you're only paying £24 
for the modem).  As far as I know, O2 modems which are £29 don't include 
credit, and I believe the Three and T-Mobile modems are £50 on pre-pay.

Anyway, hope this helps anyone who is considering picking up a mobile 
broadband stick.

Rob




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